Mountain Lion, DroboFS, Time Machine

  • Posted: 31 July 2012 05:24 PM

    A Time Machine backup to my Drobo FS never finishes. Time remaining stays at 5 seconds while bits copied and bits remaining are increasing. If the bits remaining is always increasing how can the backup finish ? Any help would be appreciated.


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    Posted: 06 August 2012 04:06 PM #1

    It’s normal (though not necessarily intuitive) for Time Machine to increase its size mid backup. And given how slow access is to a Drobo FS over the network, I can see this process taking an excruciatingly long time. I hate to say it, but I think the answer is… just wait.


    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

  • Posted: 09 August 2012 12:02 PM #2

    You don’t state how much capacity you have or how long you’ve been waiting, but initial backups can be days.

    I have a Drobo S, with 4TB dedicated to Time machine. It may take over 2 days for an initial backup.

    What you’re backing up makes a difference as well. Many small files will take much longer than several larger files for the same total amount of data. So backing up a system drive would take much longer than say, a drive full of video.

    As Time Machine tries to “predict” a finishing time it can provide widely varying values.

    Also, since you probably aren’t ignoring the computer while you’re backing it up, TM will also have to rescan and update based on your changes.

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    Posted: 09 August 2012 01:32 PM #3

    It’s important to note that there is a HUGE speed difference between the S and FS Drobos. The S is a direct-connected Drobo and the FS is network-connected. Unfortunately, and (to me) unexplainably, Drobo’s networking software/stack (and perhaps CPU?) makes accessing file systems REALLY slow. It’s speed-comparable to the direct connect once you find the file you want and start transferring data, but navigating files is horribly slow. Time Machine, of course, does a LOT of navigation of small files, meaning it can be a real dog on an FS.

    My advice for those who want a network-connected Drobo is to get a direct connect and hang it off an AirPort Express or something else like that.

    But I love the direct connect ones that I have and use.


    -Dave Hamilton / The Mac Observer / Mac Geek Gab / Dave on Twitter
    When you find a big kettle of crazy, it’s best not to stir it.

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    Posted: 09 August 2012 02:04 PM #4

    Hi Dave,
    I cannot attach my DROBO to my Airport Express, would you mean Airport Extreme? If you know how to connect it to the Express let me know how would love to do it.

  • Posted: 10 August 2012 06:55 PM #5

    Thanks for the reply. I am trying to do an initial backup. Its been day’s never finishes. Right now backup has 5 seconds left.  The time remaining has stayed the same for hours. Don’t know why. Never had this problem with the same setup and earlier Mac os

    Thanks again

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  • Posted: 10 August 2012 11:47 PM #6

    After several hours backup failed. Error message said back Time Machine ran out of hard drive space. I don’t understand I have a 120Gig SSD and a 500 Gig Data Doubler drive. I allotted 950Gig Timeshare on Drobo. How can I run out of drive space ? Very confusing. I think because Time Machine is never able to finish my backup the next time I try a backup Time Machine treats it as a new backup adding to the data from the previous backup attempt. I say this because If I enter TimeMachine I see only today’s backup.

    Still Dazed and Confused for so long

    Thanks for the replies

    [ Edited: 12 August 2012 11:20 AM by cudafish ]
  • Posted: 13 August 2012 07:02 AM #7

    Just a follow up.

    I deleted my TimeMachine share on the Drobo. Drobo had an update of the Dashboard program. I did the up date created an new TimeMachine enabled share on the Drobo FS and after 6 plus hours backing up 550 gigs all is well. Backup completed and looks good. Don’t know if Dashboard update had something to do with my problem ??